Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to Mount Everest
  • Will pass within 29,613,737 km of Earth in 2034
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

Epona is a mid-sized asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified Epona as a "Near Earth Asteroid" due to its orbit's proximity to Earth, but it is not considered potentially hazardous because computer simulations have not indicated any imminent likelihood of future collision.

Epona orbits the sun every 674 days (1.85 years), coming as close as 0.45 AU and reaching as far as 2.56 AU from the sun. Its orbit is highly elliptical. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, Epona is probably between 1.899 to 4.247 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, very roughly comparable in size to Mount Everest.

The rotation of Epona has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 2.38 hours.

Close Approaches

Epona's orbit is 0.16 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is a wide berth between this asteroid and Earth at all times.

Epona has 3 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Nov. 7, 2034 29,613,737 29.830
Oct. 31, 2119 29,855,163 23.319
Oct. 31, 2143 29,717,807 23.278

Images and Observations

Epona's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Nov. 30, 1986. It was last officially observed on Feb. 22, 2022. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 825 observations used to determine its orbit.

Accessibility and Exploration

This asteroid is not considered a viable target for human exploration by the NHATS study.

Similar Objects

These objects have orbits that share similar characteristics to the orbit of Epona:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459800.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.505 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.7024
  • Inclination: 29.2°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 235.48°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 49.73°
  • Mean Anomaly: 158.67°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~2.452 km
  • Magnitude: 15.73

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 674 days (1.85 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 24.29 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 2.56 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.45 AU
  • Rotation Period: 2.38 hours

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Epona is indicated by a ◯ pink circle. Note that the object may not be in your current field of view. Use the controls below to adjust position, location, and time.

Size Rendering

The above comparison is an artistic rendering that uses available data on the diameter of Epona to create an approximate landscape rendering with Mount Everest in the background. This approximation is built for full-resolution desktop browsers. Shape, color, and texture of asteroid are imagined.